The National Gallery of Art recently released a new children’s app for iPad, NGAkids Art Zone, now available for free download on iTunes. Echoing the style of the popular NGAkids online interactives, this dynamic app contains eight new hands-on activities inspired by works in the collection, as well as a sketchbook for freehand drawing and a personal exhibition space where users can save and display art they create with the program. The child-friendly interface emphasizes creativity, discovery, careful observation, and artistic self-expression, making the NGAkids app educational and fun for the whole family.
Each activity offers various levels of complexity, making the app suitable for all age groups. It is optimized for ages 9 through 11, but younger children, as well as teens and adults, will find the program enjoyable and artistically motivating.
These activities are designed for children to use, unassisted, in a recreational context (although teachers do use them as an entertaining addition to a traditional curriculum). This absorbing, self-directed interaction creates a personal connection to art that often lasts a lifetime.
The NGAkids app provides an immersive experience as children visit a virtual art gallery and explore a variety of works spanning more than 300 years of art history. High-resolution graphics, careful attention to detail, and a variety of subjects, painting styles, and techniques help cultivate an authentic understanding of the artistic process and reinforce users’ familiarity with the fundamental elements of art. Unexpected animation and audio features further enliven the program and foster fun learning experiences.
There are ten sections to explore: Portrait, Landscape, Seascape, Still Life, Action Painting, Exploring Color, Color Field, Collage, Sketchbook, and My Art Gallery.
Works of art by a wide range of artists—including Edward Hicks, Fitz Henry Lane, Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, and Robert Rauschenberg, along with several anonymous American naive painters—serve as inspirational models for users to build upon.
New technologies play an important role in the efforts of the Gallery to fulfill its mission to preserve, collect, exhibit, and foster understanding of works of art. The Gallery hopes this robust, interactive iPad app will enrich children’s enjoyment and understanding of the creative process and encourage them to create art of their own.
Parents and teachers are invited to share children’s artistic creations on social media, including the hashtag #ngakids.
For additional online learning resources, visit www.nga.gov/education.
The NGAkids Art Zone app was developed by Al Jarnow of Protozone, Inc., in collaboration with the Education Division of the National Gallery of Art and coded for iOS by App Partner, LLC.
NGAkids is supported in part by a generous grant from the Ruth S. Willoughby Foundation.
Source: The National Gallery of Art, nga.gov